Judge dismisses application to push murder trial back for 4th time

Justice Paul Bychok said COVID-19 travel restrictions are no reason to delay

The second-degree murder trial of Daniel Hodgson continued in Iqaluit on Friday with testimony from a forensics expert. (File photo)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Nunavut court judge has dismissed an application to delay a murder trial for the fourth time in 18 months.

Daniel Hodgson is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Bradley Winsor in May 2017.

His lawyers had requested the trial, most recently scheduled to happen in April, be pushed to November.

Defence said J.P. Rancourt, one of Hodgson’s lawyers, has heart problems and cannot spend two weeks in an isolation hub, as advised by his doctor, according to Justice Paul Bychok’s decision on the matter.

However, Bychok said the pandemic is no reason to delay the trial further.

“There is every real possibility that we shall still be facing pandemic-related travel restrictions in the autumn,” wrote Bychok.

Hodgson’s trial was originally delayed for compassionate reasons on Nov. 4, 2019, again on March 23, 2020, due to COVID-19, and a third time on Aug. 31, 2020, according to Bychok.

“We have a precious window open in April wherein we can safely hold a COVID-compliant jury trial,” he wrote.

He added delaying the trial again would be unreasonable and “unfair to the family of the deceased” and Rancourt didn’t do enough work to figure out if he could be exempt from isolating for being a critical worker.

In May 2017, police arrested Hodgson at the Iqaluit airport after Winsor was found unresponsive at a home in Apex.

Winsor was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Hodgson was released on bail that July.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for one week beginning April 19, with the potential to run for two weeks, according to the Nunavut Court of Justice.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by ? on

    Why was jury selection cancelled a few days ago?

  2. Posted by Iqaluit on

    Released in July??? why did the justice dept set free a murderer?? Do a better job in these types of cases.

  3. Posted by ? on

    How old is this story? Seems like there was been some new developments. This was in PSAs on Thursday or Friday last week…
    Public service Announcement

    Re: Iqaluit Jury Trial for April 19th, 2021
    Panel ID: 0028210401

    To the residents of Iqaluit who has been summoned to appear at the Nunavut Court of Justice on April 19th, 2021 at the Frobisher Inn, you are no longer required to attend.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Office of the Sheriff

  4. Posted by quest on

    Did I miss something in the article? When did the judge say this? There are no dates.

  5. Posted by Way Too Long on

    This is absolutely pathetic. The family has suffered enough while this guy walks around like he owns the world. The fact that he was arrested at the airport should go along way in his responsibility for the death of this young man. The person that drove him to the airport should be changed with aiding and abiding a criminal. The legal system has failed so many times, I agree with the Judge in his decision.
    It will be interesting to see if the Cam Bay Bishop case plays into this trial. Lets justice be done. You do the crime you do the time.

  6. Posted by teamster on

    Not sure why J.P. Rancourt would be able to spend two weeks here for a trial during non-pandemic times but can’t spend two weeks in a hotel room isolating. I’m not sure why his heart problems mean he can do one and not the other. He can exercise as much as he wants in a hotel room, he can eat as healthily as he chooses, and it is low stress. They don’t withhold medication or medical attention if it becomes necessary. Perhaps he shouldn’t be agreeing to represent people far from home. Sounds like he has a team of lawyers anyway, so all’s fair. It seems like his client has asked him to get him as much time as he can before going to jail.

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